Zerach

זרח


Genesis 38:30 names him as a son of Tamar by Yehudah, her father-in-law; the twin of Parets.

Like Kayin and Havel, Yishma-El and Yitschak, Esav and Ya'akov, Menasheh and Pharets, and in a slightly different form Re'u-Ven, Ya'akov's first-born, Zerach is another example of the first-born son being supplanted by the second-born, which is a portrait of ultimogeniture in the Biblical world, itself a consequence of the ancient custom of sacrificing the first-born. These tales appear to replace "sacrifice" with "supplantation", but in either form the first-born does not inherit. In later Judaism, the first-born was once again granted the right to inherit, and the Pidyon ha-Ben introduced as an alternative means of "redeeming" the sacrifice. I am unable to offer more on the subject than this, as it has either been scrupulously avoided, or simply not noticed, by scholars across the ages, religious and secular, and so there is nowhere that I can send you to read more.




Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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The Argaman Press

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